Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless Angle Grinders Compared

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless Angle Grinders Compared

We Compare and Contrast All Milwaukee Tool Angle Grinders

Having compared all of the best angle grinders on the market, we’ve used more than our share of these metalworking tools. While corded models ruled the roost for years, new cordless angle grinders—like those from Milwaukee Tool—finally provide the runtime and power to replace their corded counterparts. Below we compare all of the current Milwaukee M18 FUEL cordless angle grinders so you can understand the benefits and features of each model.



We also provide handy Buy Now buttons in case you want to go ahead and pull the trigger on a new tool. We also link to our existing reviews so you can check out more in-depth information on some of these key products.

Finally, we wrap it all up with some select charts that compare the specs and features of each type of Milwaukee M18 FUEL cordless angle grinder so you can get a birds-eye view of how each models differs.

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless 4.5″ – 5″ Angle Grinders

2889-20 M18 FUEL Variable Speed Braking Grinder, Slide Switch

This M18 FUEL 4-1/2 – 5″ Variable Speed Braking Angle Grinder marks Milwaukee’s top of the line for variable-speed small angle grinders. The 2889-20 grinder features a slide switch with lock-on and has a 5-speed dial at the base of the tool. That lets you vary the speed between 3,500 and 8,500 RPM.

Milwaukee 2889-20 braking grinder

You get the RapidStop braking system and tool-free accessory and guard adjustments. This variable speed grinder runs about $219 for the bare tool.

2888-20 M18 FUEL Variable Speed Braking Grinder, Paddle Switch

The top of the line Milwaukee M18 FUEL 4-1/2 – 5″ Variable Speed Braking Angle Grinders add variable speed to an already great line of tools. As a small angle grinder, the 2888-20 features a paddle switch and has the same 5-speed dial located just above the battery. Using the variable speed dial, you can set the speed in several increments between 3,500 and 8,500 RPM.

Milwaukee 2888-20 cordless angle grinders

This angle grinder also includes Milwaukee’s RapidStop braking system. It also uses a tool-free accessory and guard adjustment system. You can pick up the 2888-20 variable speed grinder for $219 (bare tool).

2883-20 M18 FUEL Braking Grinder w/ONE-KEY, Slide Switch

As one of two small angle grinders to feature Milwaukee ONE-KEY, the 2883-20 M18 FUEL Braking Grinder powers on with a slide switch so you can use it for extended periods of time. The brake on this 8500 RPM grinder brings the wheel to a stop in under two seconds. You get the same 11-amp grinding and cutting power and ONE-KEY gives you tool tracking and inventory management features built right in.

2883-22 braking grinder kit slide

Milwaukee Tool priced this grinder around $219 for the bare tool or you can grab a kit with two XC6.0 batteries for $469.

2882-20 M18 FUEL Braking Grinder w/ONE-KEY, Paddle Switch

The Milwaukee 2882-20 ONE-KEY small angle grinders include a paddle switch for safer usage. The RapidStop brake on this 8500 RPM grinder brings the wheel to a halt in about two seconds or less. It also features 11-amp grinding and cutting power—enhanced when using XC6.0 RedLithium batteries. This Milwaukee ONE-KEY braking grinder enables tool tracking and inventory management features if you connect it and use the desktop software or app.

2882-22 One-Key angle grinder paddle switch

Milwaukee Tool priced the 2882-20 grinder at $219 and you can find the kit with a pair of XC6.0 batteries for $469.

2881-20 Milwaukee M18 FUEL Angle Grinders, Slide Switch

For a more straightforward, simplified grinder, Milwaukee 2881-20 M18 FUEL angle grinders feature a slide switch with a lock-on. Milwaukee claims up to 135 cuts of 1/2-inch rebar per charge using an XC6.0 battery pack. The brushless motor delivers 11-amp power at 8,500 RPM. You get an electronic clutch for kickback protection, as well as overload protection to maximize motor life.

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless Angle Grinders 2881-20

Tool-free accessory and guard adjustments make these Milwaukee cordless angle grinders easy to adapt, and you can pick it up for just $199 as a bare tool.

2880-20 M18 FUEL Grinder, Paddle Switch

The Milwaukee 2880-20 M18 FUEL paddle switch angle grinders give you a safer system for shorter grinding and cutting tasks. According to Milwaukee, you can make up to 135 cuts in 1/2-inch rebar using a single XC6.0 battery pack. That’s run-time we can get behind! The brushless motor delivers 11-amp power at 8,500 RPM. You also get an electronic clutch to protect against kickbacks. Overload protection also helps maximize the life of the motor.

Milwaukee Cordless Angle Grinders paddle switch 2880-20

Finally, you get tool-free accessory and guard adjustments so you can quickly adapt these Milwaukee cordless angle grinders to your needs. Pricing is around $199 for the bare tool.

2783-20 Milwaukee M18 FUEL Braking Angle Grinders, Paddle Switch

Similar to the 2883 Milwaukee ONE-KEY model above, but without ONE-KEY, the 2783-20 M18 FUEL Braking Angle Grinders power on with a paddle switch. The brake on this 8500 RPM grinder brings a cutting wheel to a stop in 0.9 seconds, a flap disc in 1.3 seconds, and a grinding disc in 1.5 seconds. With plenty of power, this tool makes sense to buy as tool-only and then add your own advanced RedLithium battery.

2783-20 rapid stop FUEL grinder

Milwaukee Tool seems to be closing out this grinder, so if you find one for less than $200 for the bare tool, grab it! The kits include two 5.0 batteries for $469.

2781-20 Milwaukee M18 FUEL Braking Angle Grinders, Slide Switch

Similar to the 2883 Milwaukee ONE-KEY model above, but without ONE-KEY, the 2783-20 M18 FUEL Braking Angle Grinders power on with a paddle switch. The brake on this 8500 RPM grinder brings a cutting wheel to a stop in 0.9 seconds, a flap disc in 1.3 seconds, and a grinding disc in 1.5 seconds. With plenty of power, this tool makes sense to buy as tool-only and then add your own advanced RedLithium battery.

Milwaukee 2781-20 rapid-stop

Milwaukee Tool seems to be closing out this grinder, so if you find one for less than $200 for the bare tool, grab it! The kits include two 5.0 batteries for $469.

2780-20 M18 FUEL Grinder, Paddle Switch

Replaced by the 2880-20 Milwaukee FUEL angle grinder above, the 2780-20 M18 FUEL paddle switch grinders offer a great deal if you can still find them. The wheel on this tool spins up to 8500 RPM thanks to the brushless motor and plenty of power. If you can find this as a tool-only purchase, you can add your own advanced RedLithium battery and add a very capable tool to your arsenal.

Milwaukee 2780-20 M18 FUEL Grinder Paddle Switch

You may not find this grinder from Milwaukee Tool much longer, so if you find one for $179 or less for the bare tool, grab it! The kits typically include a pair of 5.0 batteries for around $429.

2680-20 M18 Cut-Off Grinder, Paddle Switch

As the only remaining brushed grinder in the Milwaukee Tool lineup, you can still find the 2680-20 for less than $120. That may make it the best bargain for those looking for a cut-off grinder that primarily cuts. As a grinding tool, you want to stick with one of the more recent models that use a brushless motor to better manage power delivery and runtime. With 8500 RPM of speed, you can make quick cuts in metal using this tool.

2680-20 brushed angle grinder

Milwaukee seems to keep selling this paddle switch model as an entry-level tool option. It lacks the isolating handle found on recent models. You can find it for under $120. In fact, we’ve seen the bare tool for less than $100 at authorized retailers.

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless 4.5″ – 5″ Angle Grinders Compared

GrinderBrushlessONE-KEYSlide
Switch
Paddle
Switch
BrakingVariable
Speed
2680-20X
2780-20XX
2781-20XXX
2783-20XXX
2880-20XX
2881-20XX
2882-20XXXX
2883-20XXXX
2886-20XXX
2887-20XXX
2888-20XXXX
2889-20XXXX

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless 5″ Flathead Braking Grinders

2887-20 M18 FUEL 5″ Flathead Braking Grinder, Slide Switch

The Milwaukee 2887-20 M18 FUEL 5″ Flathead Braking Angle Grinders feature a slide switch that lets you lock on the grinder when working for longer periods of time. This has the added benefit of letting you alter your grip on the tool for better positioning when needed.

Milwaukee 2887-20 M18 FUEL 5 Flathead Braking Grinder slide

Milwaukee claims these cordless angle grinders generate the equivalent power of an 11A corded grinder. Its low-profile design also means you can access tighter corners when grinding down welds or making cuts. This cordless angle grinder features the company’s RapidStop brake that stops the disc in just a couple of seconds when you disengage the switch.

The brushless motor spins the 5-inch grinder or flap disc at up to 8,500 RPM. Milwaukee recommends using their M18 RedLithium High Output XC6.0 batteries which run cooler, offer more power, and last longer than standard XC batteries. This tool runs about $279 as a bare tool with a contractor bag.

2886-20 M18 FUEL 5″ Flathead Braking Grinder, Paddle Switch

Identical to the above, but with a paddle switch, the Milwaukee 2886-20 M18 FUEL 5″ Flathead Braking Angle Grinder lacks the lock-on feature. It does, however, stop automatically when you release the paddle trigger.

Milwaukee 2886-20 M18 FUEL 5 Flathead Braking Grinder Paddle

Milwaukee claims this tool, like the slide-switch model, generates power equivalent to an 11A corded angle grinder. It has the same low-profile design so you can get tighter into corners when grinding or cutting. You also get the same RapidStop brake that stops the disc in just a couple of seconds when you release the paddle switch.

The brushless motor spins the 5-inch grinder or flap disc at up to 8,500 RPM. Milwaukee recommends using their M18 RedLithium High Output XC6.0 batteries which run cooler, offer more power, and last longer than standard XC batteries. This tool runs about $279 as a bare tool with a contractor bag.

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless 6″ Braking Grinders

2980-20 M18 FUEL 6″ Braking Grinder, Paddle Switch

At one point, the Milwaukee 2980-20 M18 FUEL 6″ cordless braking angle grinders were their highest performing small angle grinder. This grinder operates with the power of a 13-amp corded grinder. It also brakes all types of accessories (from flap discs to cutting wheels and grinding discs) in less than 3 seconds.

Milwaukee 2980 6-in angle grinder

As the name implies, these angle grinders can support up to 6-inch discs (and go down to 4.5-inch discs when you don’t need that extra capacity). The brushless motor drives this grinder at up to 9,000 RPM. This tool excels at grinding, surface preparation, and cutting applications. Kit versions of this tool include either one or two RedLithium High Output XC6.0 batteries. Lastly, you get tool-free accessory changes using the FIXTEC nut and tool-free guard.

This tool runs about $229 as a bare tool and $479 with a pair of XC6.0 batteries, charger, and soft bag.

2981-20 M18 FUEL 6″ Braking Grinder, Slide Switch

The Milwaukee 2981-20 M18 FUEL 6-inch braking grinder pouts out the power of a corded 13-amp tool. It will stop flap discs, cutting wheels, and grinding discs in less than 3 seconds—making it extremely safe to use. The slide swith atop the tool lets you work for longer periods of time while adjusting your grip.

2981 6-inch braking grinder

This angle grinder supports discs from 4-1/2 to 6-inches in diameter. The brushless motor spins discs at up to 9,000 RPM. Use this tool for grinding, surface prep, and cutting steel, rebar, and more. Kit versions of this tool include either one or two RedLithium High Output XC6.0 batteries. Milwaukee Tool also bakes in tool-free accessory changes with their FIXTEC nut and tool-free guard.

The 2981-20 6″ braking grinder runs about $229 as a bare tool and $479 with a pair of XC6.0 batteries, charger, and soft bag.

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless 7″ – 9″ Large Angle Cordless Grinder

2785 M18 FUEL Large Angle Grinder

When Milwaukee Tool released the 2785-20 M18 FUEL cordless large angle grinder it was the world’s first 18V tool in its category. The 2785-20 puts out enough power to match 15-amp corded tools while sahving up to 2-pounds off the weight. With up to 9-inches of grinding capacity, it provides significantly more access and capability when grinding, doing surface preparation, or cutting larger diameter pipe and/or steel. You can use this tool with any 7- to 9-inch grinding or cutting accessories.

Milwaukee M18 cordless 7-9 in large angle grinder

The brushless motor generates 6,600 RPM speed on the wheel (or higher) under load. Pairing this tool with the Milwaukee M18 High Output HD12.0 battery, gets you the most amount of run-time possible across all applications. Lastly, you get quick accessory changes using the Milwaukee FIXTEC nut and tool-free guard adjustments.

Milwaukee 6-inch and Larger Grinders Compared

GrinderBrushlessONE-KEYSlide
Switch
Paddle
Switch
BrakingE-Clutch
2980-20XXX
2981-20XXX
2785-20XXXX

Final Thoughts

When Milwaukee tool put out their first cordless angle grinder we found it lacking in both power and runtime. It freed you up from the cord, but didn’t match the power of even mid-tier corded grinders. Now, however, the story appears much different. Between the M18 FUEL brushless models and newer Milwaukee Tool Redliythium Battery technology, their current crop of angle grinders are offering plenty of power and runtime. Provided you have access to a pair of High Output batteries, you can get significant runtime for grinding, cutting, and surface prep tasks.

These tools have come a long way, and we hope the above list of prodcts helps you understand the differences between the models so you can decide which makes sense for your needs.

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